Can you freeze tempeh? Tempeh is a fermented health food made from soybeans. Tempeh is a staple in the Indonesian diet and is commonly used as an alternative source of lean protein among vegans . It has a meaty consistency, making it an excellent substitute for pork and beef.
Tempeh is made by splitting, boiling soybeans or other legumes, then drying them and cultivating them with yeast. The tempeh goes through an incubation process until it becomes a sort of dense cake before being frozen to preserve its active enzymes.
Tempeh is frozen during processing, so yes, this product freezes that well. In fact, tempeh is often sold frozen to preserve freshness. If you have leftover tempeh, it can also be frozen, although we do not recommend refreezing leftover tempeh. Refreezing the leftover tempeh may result in slight flavor and texture changes. However, if you plan on mashing up the leftover tempeh for a recipe, refreezing shouldn’t be a problem at all.
types of tempeh
Before we get to the freezing instructions, let’s discuss the two types of tempeh products sold in most supermarkets: fresh frozen and vacuum-sealed and pre-packaged tempeh.
Also known as fresh frozen tempeh, this is an extremely rare item in the US, but is quite common in specialty stores and Indonesian grocery stores. As the name suggests, this product has been frozen fresh so it should be pre-cooked for at least 20 minutes to allow the batter to relax and absorb more flavors during cooking.
Vacuum sealed and pre-packaged tempeh
The vacuum sealed and pre-packaged tempeh is pasteurized so it has a longer shelf life than fresh frozen tempeh. This product does not need to be pre-cooked at all. In fact, the prepackaged tempeh is ready to eat. But if you don’t like eating tempeh raw, we still recommend cooking the tempeh to soften and moisten the product and eliminate the tempeh’s naturally bitter aftertaste.
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How to make fresh tempeh at home
While most people buy tempeh at the grocery store, you can make fresh tempeh at home. Homemade tempeh is just as flavorful and versatile as store-bought tempeh, but it’s more affordable. Here’s a quick guide on how to make tempeh at home: